Find a job you’re passionate about doing. Corben Young is a believer in that viewpoint, and it’s served him well in his career.
Three years ago, RichContext co-founders Billy Courtney, Troy Gasnier and Breck Kelley made Young the retail tech company’s first hire. He worked as an account manager. In less than a year, they promoted him to head up new business development and partnerships for the company, which builds products that suppliers and retailers use to be more effective in conducting business through the digital retail channel.
Young describes his job as a blend between building new business and maintaining existing client relationships. Three years ago, RichContext worked with less than 10 brands. Today, the company counts well over 200 companies among its clients. According to the company website, some of the clients RichContext works with include Johnson & Johnson, The Hershey Co. and Walmart Inc.
Young said the goal on the wall is to replicate the company’s growth on a national and international level.
“We’ve done a good job of harnessing the Northwest Arkansas community and building our presence within the ‘Walmart’ ecosystem,” he said. “That’s easily translatable to other retail markets.”
A Fayetteville native, Young graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2013 with a double major in marketing and accounting. He went directly into the UA’s Executive MBA program, earning that degree in 2015.
Young traces his attitude of passionate work to his post-graduate days at the UA. While most students in the program interned with larger companies in the region’s robust supplier community, Young was interested more in startups and growing something from scratch.
He connected with Fayetteville tech startup DataRank as its first sales employee, working directly with company co-founder Ryan Frazier. Ultimately, the customer base grew so much that the business promoted Young to head up account management.
He stayed with the business after finishing his post-graduate studies. A few months later, DataRank was acquired in October 2015 by another social analytics company — Simply Measured of Seattle. Young stayed with Simply Measured for almost two years, based in Fayetteville but with frequent trips to Seattle, before transitioning to RichContext.
Young said the best career advice he could give is this: “Be good to people. Be gracious, be kind and be a good person to work with.”